Frequently Asked Questions
What is a barong?
Barong is short for Barong Tagalog, which translates to the clothing of the Tagalog people of the Philippines. The barong is the national garment of the Philippines, and it is considered formal wear for men. Barongs are the Filipino equivalents of tuxedos. Click here for our blog post on why the barong is the national garment of the Philippines.
I love your shirts. How do I . . .
Barongs are NOT shirts. A tuxedo has similar elements to a suit, but it is much more than that. A barong has similar elements to a shirt, but it is much more than that. You would not and should not call a tuxedo a suit. You should never call a barong a shirt. Just call it a barong.
What is made-to-measure?
Made-to-measure is a way to make clothing where each garment is made to fit the measurements of each individual customer, often with some feature customizations, as opposed to ready-to-wear or off-the-rack, where garments are constructed to fit the manufacturer's definition of an average customer's size.
Why don't you sell barongs in sizes?
All bodies are different and unique. Barongs that are sold in sizes generally do not fit well. People look and feel better wearing clothing when it is made especially for them.
Why do you charge so much for one barong?
Barongs in preset sizes cost less to manufacture than made-to-measure barongs, therefore they can be sold for a lower price. All of the barongs we sell are made-to-measure. They are also all made by hand by artisans in the Philippines. All of our barongs are embroidered by a person by hand, not by a machine. Our barongs take more time and effort to make, and, as a result, they cost more to make. Click here to see our blog post about how piña fabric is made.
Pineapple Ind customers also receive more. Pineapple Ind measures all of its customers, wherever they are in the US (see the How This Works section), to ensure a proper fit. All barongs get shipped for free. All men's fit barongs include a traditional chamisa de chino (undershirt). All barong purchases come with a Pineapple Ind garment bag, as well, to carry your barong in.
Do you sell barongs in different colors?
We only sell barongs in the natural color of the fabric, which is usually ecru or off white. We do not offer barongs in color dyed fabric because we believe that the best way to showcase and appreciate the painstaking hand embroidery is by keeping the fabric its natural color.
Why should I trust Pineapple Ind to make me a great barong?
Pineapple Ind is very experienced in fitting and styling barongs for people of various body types. As you can see in our product photos, the models look good and feel good in their Pineapple Ind barongs. Our barong-makers come from generations of embroidery and barong-making tradition, and they are the best in the world. We will ensure that you always get a high quality barong for your money.
Which barong should I buy?
We sell jusi barongs, which are made of silk, and piña silk barongs, which are a blend of pineapple leaf fiber and silk. Both are considered formal wear for men, and can be worn on occasions like weddings and banquets.
Jusi is smooth to the touch, thinner (since it has no lining), has a tighter weave and is more durable than piña silk. It also costs less than piña silk. Piña silk has super fine fibers, is course to the touch, is thicker (since it is lined with organza on the inside for a smooth feel), is shinier, has a looser weave and is more delicate than jusi.
Please note that both materials are very easy to rip if the barong is not put on, worn or taken off carefully. See below for how to put on and take off your barong without ripping it.
Piña barongs are considered more formal than jusi. So, if you are the groom in a wedding, it is preferable to wear a piña barong, much like it is preferable for a groom to wear a tuxedo (as opposed to a regular suit) under U.S. wedding custom. There will be posts on barong etiquette and tips.
All of our barongs can also be dressed down for a more casual look, like many of the pictures shown on our website. It is really a matter of personal choice which type of barong you buy. Women wearing women's fit barongs really have less restrictions over how they can wear barongs. See next question and answer below.
Why are you making barongs for women? Aren't barongs for men only?
Barongs are customarily worn by men only. The barong is the national garment of the Philippines, and it is not fair that it is only widely available to men. Barongs look great on women, too. Also, women wearing barongs is not a new thing. For example, Corazon Aquino wore barongs while she served as president of the Philippines.
It is 2017, and Pineapple Ind wants to change a lot about the image of the barong and how it is worn. One of Pineapple Ind's goals is to make the barong widely accessible to everyone regardless of gender. On this website, all embroidery designs are available in men's and women's fits, and we welcome all gender nonconforming people to shop our barongs.
Since the barong, as we know it today, was not originally intended for women, the barong etiquette or rules generally can be disregarded for women. For instance, the women models on our website wore whatever they wanted underneath their barongs, whereas the men had to wear chamisa de chino (undershirts) underneath. That is, unless a gender nonconforming woman wants to wear a men's fit barong. In that case, the men's etiquette and rules do apply, and a chamisa de chino should be worn underneath. Our blog will have more barong etiquette and tips.
Are the barongs on this website all the barongs you sell?
No, more barongs will be added periodically. Plus, we sell custom made and bespoke barongs that are not available on this website. See our Special Sales section.
How do I put on and take off my fitted barong so that I do not rip it?
It is best to have someone put on and take off your barong for you.
When putting on your barong, lift your arms straight up and slip your barong on and down your arms, with your arms going into the sleeves. Then slide the barong down your torso slowly and carefully with your arms straight in the air.
When taking off your barong, lift your arms straight up and pull the sleeves and collar up slowly and carefully.
How do I clean and care for my barong?
Jusi and piña silk are very thin and delicate fabrics. Do NOT ever rub or ring these fabrics. Do NOT ever dry clean your barong. Hand wash only.
Spot clean (collar, arm pits, cuffs, stains, etc.) only as needed by running water over the dirty or soiled area, gently apply just enough gentle detergent with your finger to cover the area to be cleaned and run water over the area to rinse the soap off. Repeat as needed. Hang barong to dry.
Only hand wash the entire barong if you absolutely have to, like if most or all of the barong has excessive sweat, dirt or odor. Fill a tub, sink or basin with water and add a gentle clothing detergent to make the water soapy. Dip and move your barong in the soapy water as needed to clean. Rinse off soap by running water over the barong as needed. Lay barong flat to dry.
To straighten wrinkles and creases in your barong, use a steamer. Do NOT ever iron piña or piña silk barongs. Only iron jusi barongs on the iron's lowest heat setting if steaming does not work to straighten stubborn wrinkles or creases.
Is it advisable to own a piña or piña silk barong in a non-tropical environment?
While it is true that piña and piña silk fabric can become brittle and eventually rip in non-tropical environments, like the northeastern and midwestern U.S., you can avoid brittleness and preserve and extend the life of your piña or piña silk barong by steaming your barong regularly before use and at least once during cold or dry seasons every year.